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Determining If Dent In Torsion Axle Is Causing Driving Vibrations

Question:

I have a 2019 Legend Cargo Trailer with aluminum frame and tandem torsion axles. The axles both have a significant dent near the center of the trailer see attached photos but the axles dont seem bent. In addition, all 4 sets of wheel bearings have substantial play in them when you push the wheel at the top toward the trailer with your hands. Trailer vibrates going down the road at speed. I know something is wrong. I dont know what to do. Do I have to replace both axles? Replace all 4 sets of wheel bearings? Just pack wheel bearings? If axles need to be replaced, can I replace them with spring axles? I do not *think* that there are more than a couple thousand miles on these axles. Thanks in advance for your advice.

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Expert Reply:

Thanks for the pictures!

That does look like a good size dent but the axle may not be bent.

What I recommend is removing the hubs and taking a look at the bearings for any abnormal wear, and go ahead and repack the bearings if they look good still.

Likely the spindle nut loosened up giving you the excessive play you mentioned. You will want to place the hub on the spindles while rocking it back and forth to seat the bearings in the races. Next tighten the spindle nut until it stops and the back off the nut until you can spin the wheel with freely but not enough that the hub has too much play.

There is no real exact turn amount that is correct, but you are balancing not having too much play with not binding the bearings to the point they will overheat.

If you find your bearings are worn to the point that they need to be replaced just look for the bearing numbers stamped on the face of each bearing as shown in the included picture of the # L44649. Just let me know the bearing numbers and I would be happy to recommend the correct replacements for you.

Now go ahead and spin the wheels and look for any vibrations/movement that would indicate the axle is bent.

If the vibration is still there meaning the axle is bent, you will need to replace the axles.

You can replace the axles with standard leaf spring axles but you would need to know the hub face to hub face measurement of your current axle, and the measurement between the frame rails on your trailer for the spring center measurement. In addition you would need leaf springs, and a hanger kit.

For example if you have 3500lb axles one option is the Dexter Trailer Axle Beam with EZ-Lube Spindles - 89" Long - 3,500 lbs # T3584F-EZ-8974 which has a hub face to hub face measurement of 89" and a spring center to spring center measurement of 74". As long as the hub face measurement is the same you can remove the preinstalled spring seats and have the # TRSS238 welded in the correct location.

You would also need Tandem-Axle Trailer Hanger Kit for Double Eye Springs - 3-1/4" Tall Front/Center/Rear # APT5 with leaf springs # SP-220275, U-bolts # SP01-040, and U-bolt plates # TRTP238175 which would give you 33-1/2" axle spacing.

The option I recommend is going with the Timbren Axle-less system as it will bolt directly to the frame of your trailer so you will not need to measure your current axles and will not require adding leaf springs as they have a built in progressive rate AEON main spring that does a great job of absorbing road shock leading to a smooth ride.

The correct system will depend on the rating of your current axles which you can determine by looking for the axle tag on the center of each axle, or by using the GVWR and dividing by two since you have tandem axles.

If your current axles are 3500lbs the # ASR3500S05, or we have the 5200lb # ASR5200S01.

I included a few videos of the products mentioned for you to take a look at.

Bearing Number Stamped In Face Of Bearing
Bearing Number Stamped In Face Of Bearing
(click to enlarge)
Dimensions Of Dexter 3500lb Axle # T3584F-EZ-8974
Dimensions Of Dexter 3500lb Axle # T3584F-EZ-8974
(click to enlarge)
Dent In Customer's Axle
Dent In Customer's Axle
(click to enlarge)
Dent In Customer's Axle
Dent In Customer's Axle
(click to enlarge)
expert reply by:
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Samuel C

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